Great program for children of divorce or other life difficulties
Posted on Oct 9, 2012 in What to do, what to see? In Port Alberni, BC
If your children are struggling to adapt to significant life changes, there is a group for them in the Alberni Valley. Peer support program, Rainbows, for children has been helping children aged four to thirteen for more than 20 years. It was started by the Alberni Valley Family Guidance Association, which also funds and administers it.
This year, Rainbows for Children volunteer Graham Hughes has stepped up to become the program's new co-ordinator. He started volunteering in the program when he was 19 years old. While the program was originally started for children whose families go through a divorce, it now covers abandonment, death, foster care placement, serious family members illnesses and loss of home. Children and volunteer meet once a week at 6: 30 p.m. at Eight Avenue Elementary School for an hour-long group session.
"The program facilitates an environment where kids can talk about the transitions in their lives," Hughes said. "It helps children realize that they're not the only people going through transition and that at the end of it, they will be okay."
Hughes added that the program is especially important in Port Alberni, since the city has a range of social problems and children often experience a range of home-life instabilities as a result.
This year, for the first time in seven years, there will also be a program for parents. Hughes said the parents' group will be less formal than the children's group. "The two groups will talk about the same subjects," he said. "When they go home, they can do the healing process together." While it can sometimes be intimidating to ask for help, Hughes said it's always worth it in the long run.
The program's fall session will start on Oct. 17 and end on Dec. 19. People can register by stopping at the Port Alberni family Guidance Association office at 3039-A Fourth Avenue or call 250724-0125 for more information.